The number of people on social media is astonishing. According to Statista, “In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017.” That is a lot of people. With that many individuals using social platforms, there are that many more potential customers for your brand to engage with on social media.
As a small or mid-sized business, it’s important to have an online presence, whether you are selling products, offering services or trying to expand your brand.
How to Create Content for Specific Social Media Platforms
What goes into a social media post?
If you use social media personally, then you know that each platform is different; how you write for them should be, too.
Here is an outline of how write effective social media updates for each different site, as outlined by HubSpot.
- Carefully Craft the Status Update: Each LinkedIn update you post needs informative and engaging text to introduce the link, image or video you are sharing. HubSpot recommends no more than 50 characters in each update and to include a question or call to action for the audience.
- Choose Links Wisely: When sharing links, don’t forget the status update mentioned above. Along with posting a link, make sure it’s from a reputable source and it actually works. It can reflect poorly on your business if you share a broken link with your followers.
- Edit the Description: As HubSpot recommends, “Edit your description text, be concise and to the point drawing people’s attention to the click.” This area is a second chance to encourage people to click on the link, especially if you’re sharing your own blog post.
- Interact with Comments: If someone asks a question or responds to your call of action in the status update, it is imperative you respond. Followers and customers expect interaction with the brand and businesses they are following. After all, being social is the whole point of social media.
- Name the File Strategically: When you upload your video, don’t leave it with a generic title like Movie.Mp4. Use a keyword in the file name of your video to increase searchability.
- Use a Catchy Title: When users are scrolling through YouTube, an intriguing title is often the reason someone will stop and watch. The title should also include some information about the content in the video.
- Write a Clear Description: Provide even more information about your video content with a detailed description and include links to your website and other social media channels for viewers to follow you.
- Use Hashtags: By using quality keyword hashtags, your video can appear in more searches and in front of more eyes.
- Tease the Information: As HubSpot notes, “The most appealing updates are the ones that offer something, but don’t disclose everything and make fans want to click…”
- Share Images: Images are important on Facebook because they directly influence engagement and results. Posts with images receive higher numbers of interaction than those that do not; the perfect Facebook picture size is 800×600 pixels.
- Consider Using Bit.ly Links: Again, links are important. However, if you want to track how many are clicking from Facebook specifically, use a Bit.ly link.
- Remember Mobile Users: Facebook users are increasingly accessing the social media site on their phone; a new
statistic reports that 80-85% are doing so. Making sure your updates, images and videos are mobile friendly is vital to reaching that audience.
- Timing is Key: Share important information when users are online, not just during your working hours. I have more details about social media scheduling times below.
- Include a Call to Action: On Twitter, be clear about what you want your followers to do. Do you want them to respond to a question, retweet or like your update?
- Use Proper Punctuation and Grammar: 280 characters can or can’t be a lot depending on your update. Be careful of abbreviations and don’t sacrifice grammar just because you have a text limit.
- Mention Other Users: Use mentions to engage with social media influencers and grab their attention for your brand; this is great for building high-profile relationships. Forbes described influencer marketing as, “A non-promotional approach to marketing in which brands focus their efforts on opinion leaders, as opposed to direct target market touchpoints.” In other words, influencer marketing is about providing product context and expertise through an influential person. Forbes also recently reported that influencer marketing is the next “Gold Rush.”
- Retweet Other Updates: Sharing information from other sources is encouraged on Twitter; just remember to leave a few characters so you can provide your own insights for your followers.
- No Faces, Please: This might sound counterintuitive, but on this social media platform images without human faces get 23% more shares than those that with them. This is the perfect opportunity to share your products or office layout.
- Carefully Pick Your Image’s Colors: When uploading images, dominant colors (red, dark green and pink) get 3 times more likes and repins than those that do not while orange images get 2 times the amount of repins.
- Use Light and Color Strategically: HubSpot reports, “Images with 50% color saturation get repinned 4 times more often than those with 100% and 10 times more than black and white images.”
- Remember the Background: Watch out for how much space your background usese, making sure it doesn’t take up more than 40% of the image.
- Opt for Portrait Style: Post vertically orientated images over horizontally orientated ones. The perfect ratio is 2:3 and 4:5.
- Include Hashtags: Like Twitter, Google Plus utilizes hashtags for searches and visibility. A bonus feature of this platform is that it will automatically add a hashtag for trending topics.
- Tag Other Users: Tag influencers and brands on this platform to get their attention and possible engagement with them.
- Size Images Carefully: The image sizes that yield the best results are 800×600 pixels.
- Engage with Communities: Show off your industry knowledge by interacting with the community portion of the social media site. This will allow you to communicate with fellow users who are interested in the same topic.
- Use Editing Features: How an image or video looks on Instagram is everything. Use Instagram itself or third-party apps to create the perfect images for your updates.
- Craft Captions Carefully: While this social media platform is visually focused, write captions that are compelling to encourage comments.
- Reply: Keep lines of communication open by answering questions and replying to a comment with a simple “thank you.”
- Remember the Rule of Thirds: This classic rule of photography applies to Instagram images as well. Placing the subject in only two thirds of the screen makes the image more appealing to the eye.
- Hashtags: Hashtags are incredibly important on Instagram for engagement. At Three Girls Media, we recommend using 15-30 hashtags in each update for greater visibility; just make sure they are relevant to the update.
The Best Times to Post on Social Media
As mentioned above, it’s important to post your social media updates during peak traffic times, not just when your business is open. Senior Director of Publicity, Emily Sidley, recently wrote a detailed blog post on this topic; here are some highlights from her research; you can read her detailed post here.
- Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to post
- Updates with the most interactions were published between 9am and 2pm
- The highest audience activity was between 8pm and 9pm
- Photos received the highest comments
- Videos received the most comments
- The best days to post are Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Tweets between 11am and 12pm perform best
- Most clicks and shares are on Tuesdays, 11am-12pm
- The best times to post are 7am-8am and 5pm-6pm
- The peak time for users to be on the platform are 12pm and 5-6pm
- Mondays: 7pm and 10pm
- Tuesdays: 3am and 10pm
- Wednesdays: 5pm
- Thursdays: 7am and 11pm
- Fridays: 1am and 8pm
- Saturdays: 12am and 2am
- Sundays: 5pm
- 2pm to 4pm
- 8pm to 11pm
- 2am to 4am
The best day depends on the topic
- Sunday: Food and crafts
- Monday: Fitness
- Tuesday: Gadgets and technology
- Wednesday: Quotes
- Thursday: Outfits
- Friday: Gifts and humor
- Saturday: Travel
Additional Social Media Tips
One important yet often overlooked social media strategy is proofreading. Consumers pay attention to grammatical errors and misspellings because they can reflect how well they will be taken care of by you and your business. Reviewing your work can also make a big difference when it comes to establishing yourself as an industry leader.
As Publicist Danielle Winski wrote in her blog post, The Goldilocks Approach to Content Marketing Expectations:
Proofreading can be one of the more tedious parts of content marketing, but it is crucial. A silly typo can derail the industry credibility you’ve worked so hard to establish. My rule of thumb is once I am finished with a piece of content, I walk away from it for at least 30-minutes, longer if possible, to give my brain and eyes a break from it. You’ll be amazed at how many errors you’ll catch once you take a step back. If you’re under a strict timeline that doesn’t allow for a break, send the piece to someone else to review for you.
Another proofreading tip is to read your content out loud, a few times. Your brain may fill in the blanks of a missing work or glaze over an error because it knows what you meant. Hearing yourself say “cat” instead of “car” can help you catch an error that spelling and grammar checks may not.
Engaging with Social Media
While there is a lot to consider when writing for social media, it’s important to remember that not all platforms are the same and need to be treated differently from one another.
If you would like to increase your presence on social media but don’t have the time to do it yourself, Three Girls Media is here to help. Contact us today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation with our CEO, Erika Taylor Montgomery, to discuss social media marketing needs and what we can do for your business.